Article By: Lucy Keyser
Athletic Director Andrew Wu met with the Eye to discuss the events that took place early February with the sudden resignation of the Women’s Lacrosse team’s Head Coach Cat Thoreson and Assistant Coach Michaela Duranti.
Wu talked about his admiration for the girls by saying, “Student-athletes on the team where pretty incredible in the way that they handled the situation, professionally and respectfully…”
Since the Coaches resigned, Wu has hired Interim Coach Sarah Goodson. Goodson is a Maryland native who graduated from Salisbury University in 2010. Goodson played division three lacrosse for Salisbury University. She won championships her Senior year. Previously to accepting the position at Goucher, Goodson was an Assistant Coach for the division one University Saint Francis.
Goodson has been informed on the general issues that took place with the Women’s Lacrosse team. “She’s done a really good job of taking that all into account in her approach to what she’s doing,” said Wu.
“I’ve only ever gotten one side of the story and so I’m not here to say anything bad about her because there are two sides of every story…There are things that she did do for the program that helped move them in the right direction,” said Goodson.
The Eye asked what difference he saw in the past coaches compared to Goodson he said “Honestly I didn’t hire Cat so I never really got to have the conversation with her about what like what her vision was for the program when she came in. I did have that luxury with Sarah obviously, her approach to coaching is exactly what we need. My one concern with her was how good she was as a play, sometimes when you’re that good you can approach coaching in a strictly competitive way. When you have won national championships when you have done nothing but win your entire career it’s pretty easy to want to win and that’s the only thing you care about, she’s definitely not like that. We had a really good conversation about some coaching experiences she had as a player, what she learned from those experiences and her lessons learned from coaching club…(The) coaches first and foremost need to make sure your students are having a good experience and growing and learning and I feel like the girls on the team have a good opportunity to do that under Sarah,” said Wu
When asked if she would like to keep coaching after this season, Goodson answered with “Yes, 100%. I want to see what I can do with this program. I am local, I’m not going anywhere, my husband has a job. We aren’t leaving. I mean this could be a life long position for me. I like really wanna see what I can do and I feel pretty confident that I can have tools to get us to where I think we can be in the next few years.”
“I want them to have a positive experience. I want them to enjoy what they’re doing. Enjoy being members of the team.”… We need to make sure the girls love what they’re doing, they love being apart of the team, they’re proud of it. Get away from whatever was going on in the past, move forward and it seems to be going well so far,” said Wu.
One of Goodson’s first goals for the team is to focus on fitness and confidence. “I have been really focused on the glaring issues this season because we didn’t have a lot of time to prepare… I think a big focus this summer, fall, and pre-season is fitness. I would love to have a high-pressure defense all over the field…Fitness takes time especially if you don’t wanna just get injured.” fitness and footwork will be a big factor coming up. She added that the stick work will be getting worked on and better, as of now there is already a big jump on the girl’s confidence with their sticks.
Wu acknowledged that there will not be a new GA coming in this spring, however the program will be looking for a new GA in the fall. Duranti was allowed to continue to be a student here at Goucher. But Wu did confirm that Duranti she is no longer affiliated with Goucher’s athletics department.
“If you have a good GA who has really good relationship with the student-athletes I think it takes a lot off the shoulders of the head coach. Because the assistant coach can be that person,” said Wu.
Jaclyn Parker the Goalkeeper Coach has stepped up to assist where she can before the team hires a new GA before the fall.
The hiring process for the next GA will be subject to a background check to ensure they are able to work with students.
The Eye asked Wu about the hiring process for the athletic department. In response he said “In general we would go through a long search that includes screening. For most head coaches jobs, we get 100-plus applications, we would typically go through initial screening, a phone interview with a community than a day-long campus interview with a lot of different people. This was a phone conversation between just she and I. When brought to campus, she met a few people who were just around and did an impromptu interview. I brought her over by Dean Coker, so he could meet her. It was certainly not typical.”
Sarah has cleared the necessary people in order to work for Goucher.
The team has made 192 goals over the past 12 games.
Photo: Goucher College Athletics